Program councils respond to the “freezing” of their respective programs
The Philosophy Program Council (PhPC), Broadcast Journalism Program Council (BJPC), and Applied Mathematics Program Council (AMPC) appealed against the “freezing” of their respective programs for the academic year (AY) 2020-2021.
Due to the declining number of enrollees, Bachelor of Arts (AB) in Philosophy, AB in Broadcast Journalism, and Bachelor of Science (BS) in Applied Mathematics failed to meet the block quotas.
In an email interview with The HERALDO FILIPINO, PhPC stated that “the decision to dissolve the Philosophy program” shows “lack of consideration for the thoughts and situation of the students”.
“[PhPC] condemns the university’s treatment of the affected students, who were forced to make a decision with regards to their education on such short notice,” their statement reads.
Additionally, AMPC supported the first-year students affected by the freezing of BS in Applied Math, pushing to reopen their program this AY.
Meanwhile, after exchanging multiple emails with the administration, BJPC showed their understanding of the University’s decision to temporarily freeze the program in order to recover from its losses during the pandemic.
[OFFICIAL STATEMENT OF THE BROADCAST JOURNALISM PROGRAM COUNCIL]
For the meantime, we will be taking this time to…
Program council dissolution reports
PhPC, BJPC, and AMPC shared similar concerns about the lack of official announcement on the supposed freezing of programs.
When asked about how they were notified about the issue, PhPC stated that they heard it from incoming first-year students who voiced out their concerns after receiving an email from the Office of the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Services (OAVCAS) under the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Academic and Research (OVCAR).
BJPC was also informed by their incoming first-year students, adding that the Center of Academics and Scholarships (CAS) emailed them as well.
Aside from a list of alternative courses to enroll in, the email sent to them mentioned that “with the low turnout of enrollees, continuing with the program will result in higher fees on the part of the student which we certainly wish to avoid”.
Prior to the release of BJPC’s statement and PhPC’s grievance letter, the program councils took initiative to coordinate with the incoming students to gather more information about their concerns, before finally raising the issue to the administration.
AMPC also submitted a letter of appeal to the OVCAR along with a letter from first-year students, and a program alumni on August 26. Additionally, PhPC wrote to the Brother President Augustine “Gus” Boquer, Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and OAVCAS as a formal presentation of the temporary freeze difficulties for students, especially for its academic scholars.
However, BJPC planned to compose a letter for the Brother President, but was advised to consult with the College of Liberal Arts and Communication (CLAC) Dean Dr. Betty E. Tuttle beforehand. The program council also reached out to organizations such as the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), student publications, and various student councils in solidarity.
On August 26, the Coalition of Concerned Lasallians (CCL) published an alert on Facebook and Twitter about an incoming BS in Applied Math first-year student who received an email from the administration about the “freeze”, causing the student to fear they may lose their scholarship for the particular program.
On the same date, OVCAR responded to AMPC, stating that “the administration will stick to their decision on the dissolution of programs in A.Y. 2020-2021”.
AMPC later clarified in their response that “[the] program will not be completely dissolved, it will be redesigned,” thus calling it “freeze” instead of dissolution.
“He [VCAR] is also asking a (sic) help from the alumni to help the department on feasibility study about the (sic) redesigning the program for possible offering in the next Academic Year, “ they added.
Furthermore, according to PhPC, the administration issued a full refund for the students, though because of the seven business days of processing, the incoming enrollees’ chances to transfer to other universities were made difficult.
As per BJPC, they were not able to reach the administration for they were already told by their dean that the decision was final.
Program council plans
For future plans of the program councils, they implied that there is a need to modify their programs to attract more incoming enrollees.
“We were (sic) also conducting events open for all DLSU-D students, so that the supposedly APM (Applied Math) freshman and others (sic) students can also join and strengthen our bond,” AMPC assured.
While PhPC said that “[the seniors] will continue to represent the students of the philosophy program, although the program council itself will remain in a state of inactivity and will not be officially recognized by the university to be able to plan, hold and participate in events like other program councils.”
BJPC later remarked that “inviting more professors that are immersed and seasoned in the industry to teach for the program” is part of their remodeling strategy while the program remains on freeze.
“We are pitching new names for the course: Broadcast in Multimedia Journalism, Broadcast in Convergence Journalism. Names that can probably shed light on future enrollees,” BJPC explained.
As for their supposed first-year students, most of them shifted to AB in Communication and are technically still in the same department.
Lastly, BJPC emphasized the fact that DLSU-D is the only university that offers AB in Broadcast Journalism.
“I hope that by next year, more students will be interested in Journalism, especially in this age of information,” they reiterated.
As of press time, the administration has yet to release an official announcement on the freezing of programs this AY 2020-2021.